Sumo wrestling is one of the greatest and well-known Japanese cultures, that has been enjoyed by many generations. It is not clear when and where the national sport started; however, there are records of it from more than a thousand years ago. Many cultures around the world have similar wrestling-type sports, and Japanese sumo is one of them. Sumo wrestling gradually became a recognized sport with established rules and rituals. During the Edo era, professional wrestlers appeared. The sport became a type of entertainment for the people of Japan, as it still is today.
Now, sumo wrestling is known worldwide, and there are many professional wrestlers from overseas who have won national tournaments held in Japan. While the tournament is on, Japan’s public broadcaster shows the tournament live on T.V, so that people all over Japan can enjoy the games. Big tournaments, which are held 6 times every year, are normally held in large sumo arenas. When it is held in Tokyo, during January, May, and September, all the wrestlers come to Tokyo and fight at the famous arena, Kokugikan, in Ryogoku district which is along the Sumida river.
If you have the chance to visit Ryogoku district, or places that have sumo arenas, you can find restaurants nearby that serve food that the wrestlers usually eat. The most famous is chanko-nabe. Vegetables, fish, and meat are boiled in a large pot of hot water. People sit around the pot and eat by each taking small portions into their bowls. Chanko-nabe is rich in nutrients and is very tasty, so it is popular among wrestlers and also families as a dinner meal. There are sumo wrestling schools in the area, so if you are lucky, you might see young wrestlers walking about in Japanese clothing with the unique, traditional sumo hairstyle.